Here is Willow, Ash and Arianna's Feminist Lens analysis of Dickinson's poem, "It Was Not Death," for you to respond to. Read their thesis and question, then their explanation. After that, reply to their question in the comments. You can challenge their thesis or question using ideas from the Psychoanalytic lens, but you can't simply reject it - you have to produce an alternative interpretation and relate it back to theirs.
Thesis: The poem, “It was not Death, for I stood up,” by Emily Dickinson, when viewed through a feminist lens, depicts the noxious circle, masked by the euphoria of romance, that traps women in the confines of the patriarchy.
Question: Is the narrator’s fate truly final? Can she still escape the patriarchy, and if she can, why has she given up?
In this piece, the narrator, a woman, comes to realize how, through romantic relationships, mankind entraps women in the prison of the patriarchy, just as her lover has just done to her in the poem. The narrator describes her wedding day, and as her lover kisses her, sealing their marriage, she “taste[s]” something like death. This “death” is not literal, for she “stood up,” alive. Instead, this this “death” is symbolic of the that of her independence and individuality. By letting this man marry her, she has allowed him to assert his superiority over her. While she had initially believed that their roles would be equal in their marriage, she now realizes that her role as the wife is inferior to that of the husband, at least in the society she lives in. As a wife, she will be forced to submit to her husband’s will, relinquishing her freedoms as an individual in order to conform to the criteria of wifehood. Instead of living her own life, following her own pursuits and personal will, she will act purely to fit the social standard of what a wife should be. However, this realization came too late for in her relationship for her to escape it. As her lover courted her, she was swept up in the hot passion of love, the “Siroccos,” and failed to note the precursors of the patriarchy’s looming triumph over her. And now, according to the narrator, her fate is as sealed and final as the permanency of death. Another depiction of the patriarchy’s cycle in literature can be found in Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar Named Desire. Stella DuBois, a victim of the patriarchy, once was a strong, young woman, who even prided herself in her independence, as she had stuck out on her own, leaving the family estate to make her own life. However, after this display of the strength of her personal will, Stella falls for a man named Stanley Kowalski. He woos Stella, especially through sexual pleasure, and through love blinds her into ignorance. With love clouding her mind and logic, Stella allows herself to become the submissive partner in an abusive relationship. She later in the play even gives birth to the child of this male chauvinist, conforming to the social belief of what women are meant to be, wives and mothers.
Mr. Justin Biggs